Phils make first spring roster moves

The Phillies made their first cuts of the spring after Saturday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Most of the cuts were expected; Even though Cody Asche and Tommy Joseph were among the more impressive minor league players in camp, they were included in the roster moves.

Phillies fans haven't seen or heard the last of Cody Asche or Tommy Joseph. While both were impressive in big league camp, both were among the first cuts of the spring. Neither player was expected to make the Phillies 25-man roster and they'll be able to take advantage of more playing time in minor league camp.

Asche, the Phillies leading third base prospect, played in eight games, going 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles, two walks and two strikeouts. Meanwhile, Joseph, a catching prospect acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the Hunter Pence deal last year, was 6-for-13 (.462) in six games with the Phillies and produced two doubles, a home run and two RBI.

Baseball-Reference.com has developed a rating system to determine the level of talent that a particular hitter or pitcher faced during spring training. According to their formula, Tommy Joseph rated an eight, meaning that he faced solid Triple-A level pitchers overall. Asche rated a 7.7, meaning the quality level of pitchers he faced was just under that of Triple-A pitchers.

Tommy Joseph had an impressive spring in major league camp, but was never an option to make the club out of spring training. Instead, he'll start the season either at Lehigh Valley or Reading, with a call-up later in the season an option for the Phillies. (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Because they are not on the 40-man roster, Asche and Joseph were both reassigned to minor league camp, along with left-hander Adam Morgan, right-handers Kyle Simon and J.C. Ramirez and infielder/outfielder Michael Martinez. Outfielder Joe Mather was released and left-hander Joe Savery, who is on the 40-man roster, was optioned out.

The Phillies also announced that more moves will come on Monday, including optioning out right-handers Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone and outfielder Zach Collier.

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. seemed to indicate that both Asche and Joseph will be at Triple-A this season, although over the winter, Director of Player Development Joe Jordan told Philly Baseball Insider that he thought Asche would likely return to Double-A Reading to start the season. Neither Asche or Joseph has played above Double-A ball.

Charlie Manuel explained to reporters that he thought both players were more advanced than he thought they would be this spring and that they left an impression on him and the rest of the coaching staff. Manuel also was pleasantly surprised by Martin, Morgan and Pettibone.


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